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Speech and language therapy assistant

Alternative titles for this job include Speech and language therapy support worker

Speech and language therapy assistants help support people who have difficulties with communication, or with eating, drinking or swallowing.

Average salary (a year)

£18,005 Starter

to

£24,157 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

40 to 42 a week

You could work

between 8am and 6pm

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a speech and language therapy assistant

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly

College

You could do a college course to get into this job. Relevant subjects include:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Work Preparation for Health and Social Care
  • Level 2 Diploma in Health and Social Care
  • Level 2 Certificate in Healthcare Support Services
  • Level 3 Diploma in Healthcare Support
  • Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care

Most health and social care courses include work placements so this could be a good way of getting experience.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

More Information

Apprenticeship

You can do an intermediate healthcare support worker apprenticeship, an advanced apprenticeship as a senior healthcare support worker or a higher healthcare assistant practitioner apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements but it may help you to get in if you have:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More Information

Work

You could start as a healthcare assistant and move into speech and language therapy work, through further training and promotion.

Volunteering

Employers look for relevant work experience so it would be an advantage if you have worked or volunteered in a health or social care role.

You could contact the voluntary services co-ordinator at your local NHS trust for further advice. Do-it also has more information on voluntary opportunities in your area.

Direct Application

You can apply directly for jobs if you've got some of the relevant skills and experience needed for this role.

There are no set requirements but you'll usually need good literacy and numeracy skills, some employers may ask for GCSEs or equivalent qualifications.

You may also need a qualification in healthcare or health and social care.

More Information

Professional and industry bodies

You could join the Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists, for professional development and training opportunities.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a speech and language therapy assistant from Health Careers.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • sensitivity and understanding
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • knowledge of psychology
  • active listening skills
  • the ability to understand people’s reactions
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

For bilingual co-worker jobs it will be essential to be able to speak a second community-based language.

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role, you could: 

  • work with the therapist
  • work with clients on a one-to-one basis
  • run group work and activities
  • give advice on cultural and language differences, if you’re a bilingual co-worker
  • support clients with any personal needs, for example mobility issues
  • prepare therapy rooms and equipment

Working environment

You could work at a health centre, in an NHS or private hospital, at a client's home, in a nursery or at a school.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a team leader and supervise other speech and language therapy assistants.

You could also train as an assistant practitioner and study for a foundation degree before training as a speech and language therapist.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Emotional Support Worker Apprentice

  • Wage: £7,413.12 Annually
  • Location: Not known

Care Assistant Apprentice

  • Wage: £234.00 Weekly
  • Location: Carnforth

Courses In England

Level 3 Diploma in Healthcare Support

  • Provider: THE OLDHAM COLLEGE
  • Start date: 05 September 2022
  • Location: Oldham

Healthcare Support - Level 3 Diploma (CACHE)

  • Provider: BIRMINGHAM CITY COUNCIL
  • Start date: 10 January 2022
  • Location: Not known

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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